1 Corinthians 8


  • 1Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

Love for the brethren is greater than all knowledge. Increased knowledge seems to puff us up and cause pride. Paul is instructing them concerning their questions about eating things sacrificed to idols.

Love causes us to desire to live holy and in obedience to God's word. Love edifies and causes us to grow in the things of God. All knowledge does not unless that knowledge is the correct knowledge of the word with the spirit of meekness and gentleness.

  • 1Corinthians 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

We can have all the education the world offers but it will not be what we should know. We may think we know the word of God but we might not know what we should know especially if we are not using the knowledge the right way by walking in love.

  • 1Corinthians 8:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

God acknowledges and sees all that love Him. The right kind of knowledge will promote love not a puffed up self-righteous spirit. Love is lacking if our knowledge causes us to show unkindness toward others or causes us to be harsh in our judgment of others. Our knowledge of the word should always be accompanied by compassion.

This may have been the trouble with the Ephesians church. They had good doctrine and that is good. We should never use love as an excuse to forsake sound doctrine. This is the error of many. If we follow this path, the love will be a fake love that is not real. It fools us into thinking we have love but how can we love God and love one another and ignore His word? The Ephesians church had sound doctrine which was good, but they had forsaken the first love. They lost compassion and their first love for Christ and perhaps soul winning. We can have both. We must have sound doctrine accompanied by love of the brethren and naturally love for Christ.

  • 1Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

Those with knowledge know that the idol is nothing and has no power. We know there is only one God.

  • 1Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

Some, in the world however, believe that these idols are gods and do have power.

  • 1Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
  • 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

Not all people who saw them in their daily walk with God did not know that there was only one God.

  • 1Corinthians 8:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

Whether they ate meat or not is not the question. All have liberty to eat the meat sacrificed to idols because not all do not recognize it as an idol and do not think of the idol when eating, however there could be some present who see them eat the meat and assume they are partaking of the sacrifice of idolatry. They wonder what God's people are doing in an idol's temple.

  • 1Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

The weak could be entice to eat the things sacrificed to idols also, only to them it would be a sin because they were really being partaker of the sacrifice to idols.

  • 1Corinthians 8:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
  • 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
  • 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
  • 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

There are some things we may feel free to do as Christians because we are strong in the Lord and the thing we chose to do has no power to pull us away from Christ. However, a weaker person seeing us partake in something questionable, may decide it is okay and the questionable act may cause them to pull away from Christ. Some of us may not be compromised by lets say, a couple of drinks or one beer. Others however, could be led down the road to alcoholism.

There was a lady who had a friend that did not drink and refused any form of alcohol. The first lady talked her friend into taking one drink saying that a little alcohol will not hurt. The second lady began to like the alcohol and could not control the desire. She later became an alcoholic. The first lady was sorry she influenced her friend. The first lady had no problem with alcohol but the second one did. This is a true story without the names but how many others have become alcoholics by this same way?

As we live for God, we should walk in love.

If I was to attend a church for example where the women of the church did not wear slacks or jeans. If I attended their church knowing this, I would not wear slacks or jeans so as not to offend. To me what someone wears if it is modest makes no difference to what is in the heart. To someone else though this could open the door to compromise because they think it is wrong and if they do it, they are going against their conscience and putting the thing before God. If they see me do something they think is wrong and they know that I'm a dedicated Christian, then they think that if I can do it, so can they; so they try it. The only trouble with this is that if they are not fully convinced it is right, they would be copying me instead of doing what they think God desires them to do. I may not give something a second thought and I can go on and worship God with a clean conscience. Someone else, however may stumble over this type of thing.

The clothing issue is a weak example to use because not many let that bother them any longer but I only said it to bring out the point that to one person there are certain things that could cause them to compromise their faith while to another person they take the same thing so lightly that it does not affect their faith or walk with God. We are to walk in love and not do anything to cause offense or cause a weak brother to not be faithful to God.

If an orthodox Jew came to my house for dinner, I wouldn't dream of serving pork. I know I could go ahead and serve pork having no respect for what he believes and probably still make heaven someday. It is nothing to me. But if I walked in love, I would want to win that Jewish person to Christ someday. It would be a poor start to purposely offend him by serving a meat that the law of Moses forbids. Why would he ever listen to anything I say about Christ if I had no respect for the Old Testament.

That is why we do all things by the law of love.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor.

1 Corinthians 9


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